in the neighborhood

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. 
It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." 
Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

A friend posted this video on Facebook yesterday, which would've been Mister Rogers' 84th birthday. In it he is making a passionate and articulate plea to the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in 1969 for funding for public broadcasting. Watching it brought me to tears. It made me grateful that my parents encouraged shows like his and Sesame Street when I was a kid, instead of all of the highly animated, commercialized crap that was coming into popularity (and that has lingered ever since). 

I am confident that if you rounded up all of the kids who learned about feelings and how to express them from Fred Rogers, not only would those kids be relatively well-adjusted adults, but they would also be the adults who have compassion for their fellow man. And, even likelier, they wouldn't be the kind of people who use bogus interpretations of their faith to bolster legislation that seeks to disempower the oppressed. Mister Rogers helped raise a few generations of children who needed to hear from someone that they were exactly who they should be. That they were good people who could do great things. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer money. This is how we make a better world.

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.